28. March 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Kira, Teen Books, Teen Books · Tags:

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart., 240 pages, read by Kira, on 03/25/2015

16143347  we-were-liars-mapSilhouettes of people jumping in oceantumblr_mxk4emjTkt1sm095go1_500tumblr_n5ohe5tCLG1sm095go1_500 Cadence suffered a terrible accident on her families summer vacation island at age 15.  It is 2 years later, and she is finally allowed to return to the family vacation home, to be with her cousins and family, and to try and retrieve her memories about what happened.   I’m reading this for a book-group I belong to.   I advise you to skip the reviews – you will enjoy it the book that much more.  I  liked the ending!

23. March 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira · Tags:

Carousel Sun by Sharon Lee, 336 pages, read by Kira, on 03/22/2015

Cover-Carousel-SunThe second book in the Carousel saga.  Though the stakes aren’t as high as in the last novel, I still found this a very enjoyable read.  2270482292_d35dac85e7_z 'Swamp Dweller' merman painting, Jade GengcoKate’s bad neighbor is still running drugs, and seems to have found another Ozali to help him evade the police.  One of the things I like about Sharon Lee’s writing is that she doesn’t spell things out for you, you have to figure things out on your own.  I finally  Scenics_coastal_waters_and_landmassrealized what had become of the bat-winged horse – though the clues had all been there in the previous book.  I also love the way Kate needs to assert herself, if she wants things to develop between her and Borgan.  I’m waiting to see what happens to the other escaped carousel animals in her next book – Carousel Seas.SeaWitch4  Lee also manages to capture the magic of riding a carousel.dragon_0011d39076ffdcd3feb85e89ebbab63c5c7Wild-Cats-Carousel-947741Carousel-4

19. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Paranormal · Tags:

Carousel Tides by Sharon Lee, 432 pages, read by Kira, on 03/19/2015

Carousel Tides Carousel-Tides-shirt5-outlined I almost gave up on this book, while reading the first chapter – but if you persist it gets better, way better.  The protagonist Kate has returned to the beach town in Maine where she grew up with her Gran, her Gran who runs the carousel, her Gran who has disappeared for several months now.  Kate had pledged herself to be a Guardian of the Land, but after she misused the power of the Land and a friend got killed, Kate fled the land, awaiting a slow death (by breaking away from the land).  This is a magical and inventive world, with a great backstory, that slowly gets filled in, as the narrative unfolds.  I’m really glad to have discovered another fantasy author like this!IMGP1751

17. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Paranormal

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop, 400 pages, read by Kira, on 03/09/2015

Third novel in the series called the Others.Vision-in-Silver-The-Others-3-Anne-Bishop Scenics_coastal_waters_and_landmass  This book focuses less on Megan’s personal journey and more on the larger macro relationships.  The one exception to this is the focus on Officer Montgomery, the police officer transferred to Lakeside because (back in the first of the series) he shot and killed a human in order to save the life of an Other.  I like that they continued the story-line of what had been a fairly minor character.  I like that we get an expanded view of the less-seen 125779491_11n abstract blue dark smoke digital art 2560x1440 wallpaper_wallpaperswa.com_22 m.courtyard.rough.SMOthers. Can’t wait for the next book!

17. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Business, Informational Book, Kira, NonFiction · Tags: ,

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson, 272 pages, read by Kira, on 03/17/2015

fut perftI read Future Perfect because I was so taken with Steven Johnson’s paradigm-shifting book Everything Bad is Good for You, which made a compelling case for the internet actually making us smarter – contrary to popular knowledge.  This book is more nuanced.  Johnson argues for a peer-to-peer revolution, in both politics and economics.

He starts off comparing the French configuration of rail lines versus the Germans.  The French had a master-plan, where every rail line would follow a straight line, and every line would pass through the center of the world – that being Paris.  This is in contrast to the Germans rail lines, that were a hodge-podge of lines that followed the terrain, forming a lace pattern, with much duplication.  But during WWII, the German rails proved their superiority, as they were much faster at transporting soldiers to whichever front, compared to the French who faced the bottleneck of Paris. cartography,map,network,train,transportation-839c638d5f46b779eb80ae800beb4d61_hindex Johnson uses this metaphor of networks or peer-to-peer operations consistently outperforming top-down hierarchies.  Johnson then applies the model to problems the US faces in politics and economics.  Worthwhile to ponder this alternate model.

05. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Mystery · Tags:

The Mist-torn Witches by Barb Hendee, 326 pages, read by Kira, on 03/02/2015

mist tornTwo sisters living in a small village are barely hanging on.  The elder Celine, pretends to be a seer like her mother (though her mother was a real seer).  The prince of the realm bribes Celine to tell a rich girl that marrying him will be a good choice.  As Celine pretends to read for the rich girl, she has her first real vision, in which the girl is brutally murdered, if she marries the prince.  Will the sisters survive the wrath of the evil prince?  so begins the tale.  This book was much more enjoyable than the 2nd in the series (which I read beforehand).  
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27. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Kira, Teen Books, Teen Books · Tags:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, 438 pages, read by Kira, on 02/26/2015

fangirlTwin sisters, Cath and Wren (their mother had prepared only one name for one child – Cather-Wren) had been really tight after their mother abandoned her daughters and bipolar husband years ago.    Now that its time to head off to college, Wren the extrovert wants more space, wants her own roommate, and doesn’t want Cath around much.  Cath the awkward introvert feels abandoned by Wren, especially when Wren reconnects with their mother.  Cath has coped by writing fanfiction for a series called Simon Snow – a Harry-Potteresque fantasy series (Wren used to help her).  Simon Snow books were what got the sisters through the rough times, through their abandonment, through their father’s hospitalization, etc.  Cath continues to write Simon Snow stories – much to the annoyance of her tough-girl roommate Reagon.  Then there’s Reagon’s boyfriend Levi who hangs around their room all the time.  Rowell writes great love scenes – only light kissing is detailed, but she makes it seem so hot!

Not everything is explained, like the reason from Wren wanting distance, nor why their mother is so shallow.  Nonetheless a fabulous read!

I am loving Rainbow Rowell’s books.  Rainbow Rowell’s next book will be about Simon Snow – the story within the story – I can’t wait!

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25. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Paranormal · Tags:

Black Wings by Christina Henry, 295 pages, read by Kira, on 02/24/2015

Madeline Black is an agent of Dblack wingseath, guiding souls to the door of the afterlife.  Shortly after she rents out the lower rooms in her house, to hot-looking Gabriel Angeloscuro, demons wanting to kill her start showing up near her house, including her evil half-brother Antares.  The author does some interesting world-building, building a genealogy of residents of heaven, but mostly hell.  I picked up this title on accidB0351_BlackWings_coverent, thinking it was another by Barb Hendee – both have call # HEN.  Enjoyable enough of a read, but I doubt I’ll continue the series.fantasy-and-gothic-pictures-girl-with-black-wings-and-blue-dress

20. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira · Tags:

Dragon Rule: Book Five of the Age of Fire by E.E. Knight, 368 pages, read by Kira, on 02/17/2015

Dragon-Rule-E-E-Knight-Paperback13-lgeThis book in the series weaves the three sibling dragons more closely together.  Auron accepts a “protectorate” within Naff’s kingdom.  Wistala acts as queen consort, since Nilrasha lost her wings (in battle in the previous book).  There is far more politics in this book than in the others (which I personally do not enjoy).  Plus ome of the political machinations left me
grousing for example “come on, its obvious who tried to assassinate you!!”  The ending is a little bleaker than other volumes – to be fair, this title has been described as a bridge book.

The best part of the book was the minor twist at the very end of the book.


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20. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, Kira, Short Stories

Cat tales : Radio Stories that won't Let You Go. by NPR Driveway Moments., 68 pages, read by Kira, on 02/17/2015

NPR cats A collection of cat stories – both nonfiction and fiction.  There were scientific essays about cats biology and genetics, conservation stories about big cats, short memoirs, celebrity cats, famous Facebook  cats, cats running for political office etc.  These were enjoyable.  m6Sn57l
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20. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Kira, Teen Books · Tags:

A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley, 265 pages, read by Kira, on 02/13/2015

wanting s Charlie Duskin is a shy but talented musician, who spends every Christmas at her grandparents, except this year, not only is her Mom dead, her Granny has recently died as well.  Next door to Grandpa lives Rose, who has ignored the girl from the city for years, but now that Rose wants to take a scholarship year off in the city, she realizes that Charlie may be her ticket out of the small backwater town she lives in, that Chamarblebarrlie visitsSmall Waterfall in Ku-ring-gai Chase NP, Sydeny, Australia.  This is a fine coming of age story.  I liked that people besides the main protagonist experience growth.  This book is recommended for those who liked Eleanor and Park (which I loved).

07. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Kira, Paranormal, Steam-punk · Tags:

Soulless by Gail Carriger, 373 pages, read by Kira, on 02/06/2015

alexia_tarabotti_and_conall_maccon_by_ulalah-d5jh1kz VictorianPaperDoll images hqdefault 89275d0c54278ce11844f73cb88ce2d3-d31xw43Ms Alexia Tarabotti age 25  is considered an unmarriageable spinster.  In an alternate steampunk Victorian England inhabited by werewolves, vampires, and a few gosts, Ms Tarabotti is able to neutralize these supernatural creatures of the night by touching them, because she is soulless.  After she is attacked by a vampire and kills him with her hairpin and parasol, she becomes a suspect in the disappearance of supernatural creatures.  She starts investigating.  I enjoyed this book.  I liked the humor, the fast pace, and the romance wasn’t overdone.

05. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira · Tags:

Witches in Red: A Novel of the Mist-Torn Witches by Barb Hendee, 325 pages, read by Kira, on 02/05/2015

73c9e61f40e8ecb33746dd3ae3504852  Sisters Celine and Amelie are asked by their patron Prince to uncover why men in a remote silver mining town keep turning into werewolves.  Both sisters are seers, Celine can see the future, and Amelie can see the past.werewolf-werewolves-24033227-530-496  I couldn’t put the book down, it was fast paced and intriguing.  I did manage to figure out who was the bad “guy”.  I was disappointed that Amelie needed to be rescued.  I would like to read the first book in the series.

05. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kira, Paranormal · Tags:

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz., 273 pages, read by Kira, on 02/03/2015

Witches-of-East-End-Poster-witches-of-east-end-35808568-1200-1600 woee1  thA mother and her two grown daughters seem to live ordinary lives in the town of North Hampton.  However, they are immortal witches banned  centuries ago from using their magic.  Daughter Freya – the wildchild and local bartender – is able to create magic potions that can help.  Frey has found the love of her life, Bran, a little bit nerdy and nervous, but calm, philanthropic millionaire.  Then his brother, hunky bad-boy Killian, shows up and Freya and Killian have a tryst during her engagement party to Bran.   She swears it was a mistake, but can she stay away from Killian.  Her sister Ingrid serves as the towns librarian, but the major wants to develop the land upon which the library sits.  Will Ingrid be able to save her library?  Mother Joanne has other dilemmas to deal with.  Slowly each one begins using their magic for small things and nothing bad happens.  But evil is lurking around the corner.  Will they find it in time to save the world? or at least to save themselves from being sent to prison for practicing witchcraft?  89202450_oWill the council find out about their using their magic?

You think you’re reading a modern-day tale of witches, then you realize, no you’re in the Norse mythology saga.  It seems that more Norse mythology is making its way into current fiction (Runemarks American Gods) .  Its interesting to see Baldur’s narrative again (Giants of the Frost).  This is a fast paced, book, that I couldn’t wait to read more of.

28. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kira, Mystery, Paranormal

Cast-Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell, 336 pages, read by Kira, on 01/27/2015

WM2The second in the Witchcraft Mystery series.  I’m Not sure how the titles relates to the story.  Lily is helping to investigate a haunting at the Art College her employee Maya attends.  A big donor gets murdered the night they go to investigate.  Did the ghost kill the rich man? or was it the ghost?  This was a good tale, I was unable to guess the killer.  I enjoyed the story and getting to know a bit more of the main characters backstory (how Max’s wife
died).

28. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Kira, Paranormal · Tags:

Over my Dead Body by Kate Klise, 116 pages, read by Kira, on 01/15/2015

klise dead This is the sequel to Dying to Meet You.  An evil idiot, Dick Tater, throws Seymour into an orphanage, I.B.Grumpy into an insane asylum, when he finds that Seymour is being raised without his parents, and that I. B. Grumpy believes in ghosts.  He also bans Halloween and has people burn books about ghosts.  Maybe, the initial charm has worn off a bit.  I liked th
is 2nd book, but Not as much as the first.

26. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Humor, Kira · Tags:

Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art by Christopher Moore, 403 pages, read by Kira, on 01/23/2015

sacbindexsacre_bleu Does it really make sense that Vincent Van Goph shot himself in a wheatfield, then walked miles to see a doctor?  Christopher Moore takes this as the starting place for a mystery and a madcap romp with Impressionist  Great Master painters in Paris.  To accompany Henri Toulouse Lautrec, he creates the baker/painter Lucien Lessard who try to unravel the mystery of the Ultramarine paint supplied by the menacing “colorman”.   Beware woadfin5aHadrians_Wall_03there is a fair amo7330lascaux1unt of bawdy humor.  asacbindexVincent_van_Gogh_(1853-1890)_-_Wheat_Field_with_Crows_(1890)study___the_laundress_by_henri_de_toulouse_lautrec_by_iyasha-d6qjoal I was really impressed by Moore’s ability to tie disparate historical events like the disappearance of the 9th Roman Legion and the discovery of Lascaux-type caves.  A very enjoyable read, that gave me some exposure to famous impressionist painters and made me curious about how paints are/were made.

14. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kira, Mystery, Paranormal · Tags:

Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell, 336 pages, read by Kira, on 01/13/2015

B1050_HexesHemlines-137x137 imagesAnother enjoyable mystery by Juliet Blackwell.  Minor peeve, I wish that the main character, the witch Lily would NOT have so easily dismissed the danger happening to  various characters.  Sometimes there’s a fine line between courageous and foolhardy.  The mystery was Not crafted as well as the first book.  I did like the continuing background information on Lily’s childhood though.  Not as good as the first title in the series.  I hope to see more of Beowulf, the cat.

12. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira · Tags:

Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise, 160 pages, read by Kira, on 01/03/2015

index  9780152057275-dyingmeetyou1_zoom9780152057343-overmydead1_zoomFormer best-selling author, I.B. Grumpy, has rented a Victorian Mansion in an attempt to cure his writer’s block.  Unfortunately, he didn’t read the clause in the contract specifying that he had to take care of the owners kid Seymour Hope whilst Seymour’s parents are in Paris, maybe for the summer, or maybe permanently.  There is a sweetness to this book, and I liked the just deserts delivered to the parents.

11. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Kira, Teen Books, Teen Books · Tags:

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, 328 pages, read by Kira, on 01/08/2015

What a wonderful read!  Fast paced, emotionally gripping.  A love story – Not a romance.  I’m going to have to devour everything else Rainbow Rowell has written.

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